Most of us have more apps than we need on our phones, so I’ve always been a little annoyed that reading Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents requires separate apps – even if I’ll only ever use some of them sparingly.
Fret no more: today Microsoft publicly released the first unified Office app for Android. The app was previously only available for Office Insiders during a preview period that began in November with a small group of users, according to Thurrott.com. Now it’s available publicly right in the Play Store.
The app does much more than let you read and edit documents from those three apps though. Some other features include:
- Quickly jotting down notes (which can sync with the Windows 10 Sticky Notes app)
- Scanning text from images, including spreadsheets
- Reading and signing PDFs
- Scanning images using your phone camera
- Transferring files to your computer and nearby devices
It’s not clear if Microsoft plans to eventually replace the dedicated Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps on Android, or if the unified Office app will live on in parallel for the foreseeable future. There’s also no word on when the app will arrive on iOS, and Android Police also notes the app does not appear to work properly on tablets just yet. We’ve contacted Microsoft for more information will update this post if we hear back. In the meantime, you can download the new Office app here.